Childlessness, or the inability to conceive, is an often unappreciated source of pain amongst much of the general public. |
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the number of women aged 15-44 with impaired fecund city (impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term) was 6.7 million in America, which equates to 10.9% of the population.
This natural function, one of the greatest of gifts that life has to offer, remains an unattainable dream for some women, who through no fault of their own find themselves fighting this lonely battle.
Many see this as the very essence of what it means to be a woman, the ability to procreate and raise their own children.
Other alternatives such as adoption exist of course, and may be a valid options, but these remain inadequate for some, who go on grieving, feeling that sharp tug when confronted with scenes pertaining to a happy family life complete with children, in the media or in their daily lives. These can act as a reminder that somehow their lives are incomplete, and can become a barrier to finding fulfilment and purpose.
In 2012, there were reports that a woman named Asma, from Millat Town in Pakistan, had become depressed over her childlessness, and after 2 years of marriage to Amir, a CID Constable, fatally shot herself with a handgun.
Another case involved a Judge based in the UK, who after reaching the pinnacle of her career, now turned her attention to starting a family with her husband. She too slipped into depression and took her own life. As her husband remarked, she felt she had nothing else to attain, and not being able to have her own children meant for her there was no future.
For many women, becoming a mother is not just a lifestyle choice, but is essential to their well-being. As one childless woman put it, 'if I could change any decision I have made not to arrive at this point, I would do it'.
However, they still have choices. One could continue on this path, or they could take a philosophical view, and reason that perhaps having children was not within their destiny. Hopefully, finally accepting what they can't change and using that love and caring instinct to help a young person, maybe a niece or nephew or other, who could benefit greatly from that well of love they have in abundance.
Indeed for biological parents, ultimately it is their task to raise their children to be the best that they can be, and to nurture them into well-rounded individuals. They are merely a conduit one might say to prepare their children for life. Their children are individuals in their own right and do not necessarily belong to anyone, irrespective of who their parents may be.
To lose faith and the will to live would be to deprive other children who could benefit from having a guide, mentor or a parent, perhaps reaching many that you would otherwise never have met.
This may be a monumental challenge, but piece by piece they may accept that the ability to give birth does not define who they are, and never could.
For some nothing will ever replace being a biological parent and raising their own children, but perhaps this could be a worthy alternative.
Christopher lives in the U.K. and is the author and founder of Critical Eye, a website dedicated to debating societal issues, international affairs and other topics.
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